WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress websites. It is a strong platform with unlimited integration options.
Pro’s of WooCommerce
- Integration options with 3rd party services such as email providers (MailChimp)
- Detailed Google Analytics options
- No monthly charges
- Natively works with ProPhoto
- Many free and paid upgrade options via WooCommerce market
Con’s of WooCommerce
- Interface can be clunky (not a visual platform so can be frustrating for users)
- Can have a complex setup (depending on your goals)
- Relies on your own site security (need SSL certificate and strong security plugin to protect against hacks)
- Relies on your own hosting capabilities (need to ensure you have a reliable hosting plan that can keep up with the demands of an e-commerce site)
- Limited support
Case study of WooCommerce shop for photographer or creative
Jessica is a photographer looking to streamline her booking process. She wants clients to be able to book directly online from her ProPhoto website. Additionally, Jessica also sells art prints (in various sizes) of her most popular photographs.
Jessica needs an e-commerce solution that can be customized to fit a separate booking process and a traditional print shop. Jessica would like to sell up to 20 different prints each with different size variations.
Jessica really wants clients to be able to find her prints via a Google search so it’s important that each product has its own dedicated product page.
Overall, Jessica has some experience using WordPress and feels comfortable managing her entire site from her own WordPress dashboard.
In this scenario, Jessica is a great fit for WooCommerce.
Shopify is newer to the e-commerce world but is one of the fastest growing and most flexible option for an e-commerce solution.
Pro’s of Shopify
- Straight forward, simple setup
- Strong support team
- Detailed documentation
- Flexible integration options (can add into any type of website via embed codes)
- Not hosted on own files
- Secure payment gateway separate from. your website
Con’s of Shopify
- Monthly charges
- Limited customizations
- Checkout settings need advanced tutorials or knowledge to customize
- Limited integration with 3rd party services
- Custom product or checkout options require paid upgraded plugins
- Does not natively work with ProPhoto (needs embed codes to work)
Case study of Shopify use for photographer or creative
Sarah is a photographer and educator who will begin selling tickets to her photography workshops. Each workshop will be a unique product id and will not have any product variations. Sarah plans to have 4 workshops total for the year.
Sarah is looking for a very simple, straight forward platform that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or customization even if that means paying a little more.
Workshop attendees find Sarah via referral so she is not concerned about having her workshops visible on a Google search.
Sarah does not feel comfortable inside the WordPress dashboard and the near mention of “website security” or “SSL certificates” gives her instant hives.
In this case study, Sarah is a great fit for Shopify.
Which platform is best for you?
Overall both e-commerce setups could be a good fit for you. However there are a few key differences that make one option more beneficial than the other.
Choose WooCommerce when:
- You plan to manage a larger store
- Having your specific products discoverable in a Google search is very important to you
- You don’t want to pay a monthly fee
- You want a highly customized product layout
Overall, choose WooCommerce when you intend to manage a medium to large size store in the future and 3rd party integration is very important to you ( i.e. linking with your MailChimp account).
Choose Shopify when:
- You are not tech savy and your website scares you
- You don’t want to spend extra time managing an e-commerce platform
- You want something simple and straightforward and don’t mind spending the extra money for an easier setup
- You don’t plan on integrating your e-commerce site with advanced email campaigns and sales promotions
Overall, Shopify is the best options for those that plan to manage a small store and want a simple solution without getting overwhelmed with extra customization options.
Selecting an E-Commerce Provider
Setup WooCommerce on your ProPhoto Website
Setup Shopify on your ProPhoto Website